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How to run Android apps on any Chromebook

Google recently released its very first preview for developers with the Android apps for Chromebook and it's really cool. However, the new Chrome OS update only available for the Asus Chromebook flip. While we can expect devices like Acer Chromebook R11 and Google Chromebook Pixel to get the next update, owners of other Chromebooks will have to wait a while. According to the latest Google timeline, other Chromebooks will get the Play Store by the end of the year or early next year.

If you're impatient, just like us, there are other ways to run Android apps on a Chromebook. To run Android apps on Chrome OS, we'll use the ARC Welder app to use Google's Runtime App for Chrome OS (beta). So here's how to run Android apps through it:

Use Android apps on any Chromebook via ARC Welder

1. First, you will need to download the ARC Wielder app from the Chrome Web Store.

2. Therefore, download the app's APK files you want to run on your Chromebook. You can download APK files from

3. After downloading an app's APK file, open the Wielder ARC app . In the app, you will see the only option for " Add your APK ". Click on the option.

4. Select the APK file downloaded from the File app.

5. After the app loads the APK file, you will get various options to customize the app experience. You can select the orientation (vertical or horizontal), the form factor (tablet, phone, enlarged or full screen) and you can choose to give the app "Access to notes" or not. Once done, click " Test "to start the app.

5. If you have already uploaded the ARC Welder app before, the app will ask you to remove it before it can start loading the new APK. So the app should be started. You can then start using the app with the mouse or tap, if your Chromebook supports it.

Important points to note

The ARC Welder app aimed at developers looking to optimize their Android apps for Chrome OS, then don't expect great performance from this . However, if you're just trying to use some Android apps on your Chromebook, not too shabby. That being said, if you plan to use ARC Welder, here are some important points to note:

  • You should be a little patient after clicking on "Test", as some applications may take longer to load.
  • According to the developers, you should use Tablet or Maximized as a form factor is Horizontal as a screen orientation to get the best results. You can resize an app window like you would on a normal app and the interface will be resized accordingly.
  • Not all apps work! We have tried the APKs of most popular apps and only a few have managed to play well with Chrome OS. This should be resolved with future updates to Chrome OS, as Google starts to integrate its reproduction services.
  • You should prefer to download stable versions of the app, rather than trying beta or alpha versions of an app.

Try the Android apps on the Chromebook

While there are other Chrome OS emulation apps that allow you to run Android apps, we haven't had a great experience with them. For us, the ARC Welder app worked best. So, if you want to try Android app or play on your Chromebook, try the method described above, but make sure you keep your expectations low. Let us know your experience.